Sunday, June 10, 2012

Refreshing Couscous Salad

I found this recipe online the other day and it just sounded so fresh and light that I just had to try it. I was glad I did and now I have an entire bowl in the fridge for a meal and/or lunches this week. I plan to grill or bake some chicken breasts with some Greek seasoning and serve that with the salad for one meal.

I have never cooked with couscous and was surprised to find that it is just really teeny, tiny pasta! It tasted good just by itself before I mixed up the salad.

I added the cucumber to the original recipe. After I finished making the salad and walked outside for a few minutes and walked back into the house....the entire place just smelled so fresh and green from chopping the ingredients. I love that.

If you try it, let me know how you like it.

Tomato Basil Couscous Salad
From Taste of Home website
8 servings         Prep: 20 min. + chilling


  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 package (10 ounces) couscous
  • 1 cup chopped red onion or to taste
  • 1 cup chopped English cucumber (my addition)
  • 1 cup seeded diced plum tomatoes (I subbed in halved Cherub tomatoes.)
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar (I had to supplement with balsamic vinegar.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes (Again, Cherubs.)

  • Directions

  • In a large saucepan, bring broth to a boil; add couscous. Cover and remove from heat.

  • Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl; fluff with a fork and cool.


  • Stir in the onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, oil, vinegar, pepper flakes,

  •      salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
         (I whisked together the dressing ingredients and poured over, then mixed.)
         Garnish with tomatoes.
         Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1/2 cup) equals 223 calories, 10 g fat,
         (1 g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 389 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrate,
         2 g fiber, 6 g protein.

    Lemon Cake, Anyone?

    I found myself yearning for something lemony this weekend and decided to make one of my favorite recipes. This recipe was shared on a website I used to visit and I've made it several times since discovering this simple lemon delight. I have made it in its original form and also tailored the recipe when I want to cut calories a bit. Enjoy!

    Lemon Cake

    Preheat gas oven to 350 farenheit (325 for electric oven)

    1/2 cup butter, softened
    1 cup sugar
    2 large eggs

    1 1/2 cup flour
    1 1/2 tsps baking powder
    1/2 cup milk (I use 2%)
    Zest of 1 or 2 lemons, depending on how lemony you want it to be. (I use zest of two.)

    Cream butter and sugar together. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Sift half of the flour and baking powder into the butter/sugar/egg mixture. Stir and pour in half of the milk. Stir until well blended. Repeat with last half of dry ingredients and then the rest of the milk. Stir in the zest.

    Pour into a 9x9 or 8x8 cake pan or round pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 35 min. at 350 degrees or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

    1/4 cup sugar

    2 Tbsp lemon juice (about one lemon)

    Mix sugar and lemon juice and pour over hot cake in oven. Turn oven off and let cake sit in oven for about 10 minutes. Remove and cool before cutting.

    9 servings

    Warning: If you do not use fresh lemons for the zest and juice in this recipe and I find out about it.....I will hunt you down and shake my finger in your face while scolding you. I promise.

    Note: The cake is usually best after sitting overnight. Also, if I'm feeling really wild, I'll double the glaze.

    For the lighter version: I replace the sugar with 1/2 cup Splenda sugar blend for baking and use Egg Beaters instead of the eggs. Using these substitutions, I have calculated the calories to be about 248 and the fat to be about 11 grams per serving. (I have not calculated the calories/fat for the original version.) Not the lightest thing out there, but a little better than the original recipe. When lightening up the recipe, I do not replace the sugar in the glaze as I'm not sure how it would effect the consistency.